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Teenager charged with killing soldier at Tennessee armory

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) - A teenager has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of a Tennessee National Guard soldier at an armory southwest of Nashville, authorities said on Thursday.

Christopher Farrar, 15, is accused of gaining access to the Perry County National Guard Armory on Wednesday afternoon and firing several shots, one of which struck the soldier, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Sergeant First Class Michael Braden, 45, died later at an area hospital, the bureau said. The circumstances of the shooting and its motive remain under investigation, it added.

Braden served two tours during the Iraq war, in 2003 and 2007, when his unit was stationed in Kuwait to help resupply forces, the Tennessee National Guard said.

The shooting at the armory in Lobelville, which is about 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Nashville, prompted a manhunt in the surrounding area.

Farrar was taken into custody at his family home in Lobelville on Wednesday night without incident and charged early Thursday, authorities said. He was being held without bond at a juvenile detention facility.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh Devine said late on Wednesday detectives were probing how the shooter gained access to the armory building, which is normally kept locked to outsiders for security reasons.

"We have tragically lost one of our own," said Major General Max Haston, adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Editing by David Bailey and Will Dunham)

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